One at a time, all the areas of disappointment were identified.
The questions didn't even have to lead Derek Dooley to offensive woes for the Tennessee coach to wander back to them, staring at the stat sheet in front of him and repeatedly clicking his pen in frustration after another conference loss.
The Vols put a new quarterback in the starting lineup, and he was on the hook for two costly turnovers. A running game that had shown signs of life was again mostly invisible. The most talented receiver in the lineup had a sure touchdown go through his hands.
Dooley was clearly in no mood to search for positives in the aftermath of a 14-3 loss to No. 10 South Carolina on Saturday night at Neyland Stadium. And in another outing without a touchdown, they seemed to be hard to find anyway.
"We're just struggling right now on offense, and I don't know any other way to say it," Dooley said. "The execution is bad, the throwing and catching is bad three weeks in a row, and we've got to find some answers.
"We're just not good enough right now. We're not really good to beat anybody unless we get some things corrected. I'm not sure what else to say, we just didn't execute. Threw two picks, can't run it in — it's not real complex, I don't think."
Identifying the issues might not be, but finding a way to patch all the holes in an increasingly leaky
offense appears to be a bit more complicated right now for the Vols (3-5, 0-5 SEC).
Unhappy with the passing game over the previous two games without starter Tyler Bray at the helm, UT turned to Justin Worley in an attempt to jump-start the attack. The true freshman completed just 10 of his 26 attempts for 105 yards with the costly interceptions both eliminating scoring chances.
After encouraging outings against the stout run defenses of Alabama and LSU, Tauren Poole rarely found much room to operate and was held to just 38 yards. The senior also didn't get any help with a short bench behind him with Marlin Lane slowed by a knee injury.
And while the Vols did have more receivers getting involved and making a couple grabs, they still rely heavily on Da'Rick Rogers to carry the load — and the most memorable play of the game for the sophomore was one he didn't make when a score slipped right through his hands.
That all added up to perhaps the most underwhelming offensive performance in a month full of them against four consecutive ranked opponents. The degree of difficulty does go down as the calendar turns and UT prepares for a non-conference breather against Middle Tennessee State at home on Saturday (FSTN, 7 p.m.), but the Vols clearly have work to do no matter who they're playing in November.
"It's tough," freshman receiver DeAnthony Arnett said. "Leading up to the month of October, that was all everybody was talking about — October, October. Coach Dooley just told us to take it one game at a time, and that's the way we took it. Obviously we didn't win any of those games, but we fought hard.
"It's tough on the offense. The defense played big, really big, only 14 points against a South Carolina team that can really score the ball. Them stepping up and getting those big (turnovers), obviously we have to convert, we have to get a touchdown. Every time down there, there's just something wrong. ... We just couldn't convert. Receivers, we've got to come up big, have to make a play for the quarterback, make a play for the team."
That's not the only position where the Vols are looking for more. Right now, the Vols aren't leaving anybody out on offense.